Breath of Heaven




For your quiet contemplation:


Did you know...



...that the bright lights at A&E cooked up "Duck Dynasty" in order to ridicule the Robertsons? Didn't exactly turn out the way you expected, did it, A&E?

Your Friday night music video. Country folks can survive:


You do know why Thomas More made up the word utopia, don't you?

If not, all will become clear.

As a native New Yorker (as in New Yawker), I never could understand the appeal of the place.  Well, it's about to become a lot less appealing—even, I suspect, to the most rabid devotees of the cult of "the city."

From a piece entitled "The Coming Detroitification of New York":

The high cost of all things New York has reached such an extreme that it now costs a truck $102 just to cross the George Washington Bridge. No worries; after Bill de Blasio has been the mayor for a few years, no one will want to come into the city anyway.

De Blasio’s election was the ultimate triumph for the lunatic Left:

Headlining a Brooklyn fund-raiser for the group New York Communities for Change, Mr. de Blasio was hailed as a progressive hero and the fruit of a more than decade-long battle by labor groups, grassroots organizations and the Working Families Party to crown one of their own. …

Definitely read the whole thing.

You see, de Blasio is opposed to having welfare recipients look for a job—I know, I know, that's a really harsh requirement—but is in favor of essentially forcing individuals to pick taxpayer pockets take government handouts. So why is his party called the Working Families Party?  Doesn't sound like a whole lotta work will be getting done on his watch.

Other, more local, politicians are proudly endorsed by the so-called Working Families Party, too...Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton for one and Tompkins County Legislator Martha Robertson for another. Why is this important?  Because many state "Democrats" run under both banners—the Democrat Party and the Working Families Party (WFP). Why? One reason is that then they can suck in the uninformed voters who still believe that there is such a thing as centrist Democrats.

But for the most part, there isn't.  In NYS, there's the WFP, and the WFP has rather close ties to the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and the Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA) .

And none of those groups—the Democrat Party, the WFP, the DSA, the CPUSA— has the best interests of upstaters at heart.  Assemblyman Bill Nojay today described a conversation in an Albany elevator with a fellow legislator, a Democrat, in which Nojay remarked that Democrat policies were having an adverse effect on upstate jobs.  The Dem's response? "Why would we want upstate jobs?"

They have no intention of creating upstate jobs. They would much rather that all of us who resist their statist, collectivist ideas would simply leave, as many already have. Then, like de Blasio in NYC, they could establish their utopia in NYS and eventually throughout the country. Panem.

Which brings us back to More. He needed a word for a place that didn't, and couldn't, exist. Utopia means both "good place"—the meaning that probably comes to mind first—and "no place."

There's a reason why the term "Left" is often prefaced with "lunatic."

Shut thy pie hole, knave!

At the Daily Caller via Weasel Zippers:

A California county has banned a veteran employee from criticizing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act because a coworker who overheard the criticism was offended...
Almost don't need to say any more than that but you could read the rest anyway, just for kicks.
Watch that water cooler chit-chat, you scurvy swabs.

I have a proposition for you

Six, to be exact. That's how many potential amendments to the New York State Constitution voters will decide on in this year's general election on November 5th.  What are they?

Authorizing Casino Gaming
The proposed amendment to section 9 of article 1 of the Constitution would allow the Legislature to authorize up to seven casinos in New York State for the legislated purposes of promoting job growth, increasing aid to schools, and permitting local governments to lower property taxes through revenues generated. Shall the amendment be approved?
Additional Civil Service Credit for Veterans with Disabilities Certified Post‐Appointment
The proposed amendment to section 6 of article 5 of the Constitution would entitle a veteran who has received civil service credit for a civil service appointment or promotion and subsequently is certified as disabled to additional civil service credit at a subsequent appointment or promotion. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?
Exclusion of Indebtedness Contracted for Sewage Facilities
The proposed amendment to Article 8, section 5 of the Constitution would extend for ten years, until January 1, 2024, the authority of counties, cities, towns, and villages to exclude from their constitutional debt limits indebtedness contracted for the construction or reconstruction of sewage facilities. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?
Settling Disputed Title in the Forest Preserve
The proposed amendment to section 1 of article 14 of the Constitution would authorize the Legislature to settle longstanding disputes between the State and private entities over ownership of certain parcels of land in the town of Long Lake, Hamilton County. In exchange for giving up its claim to disputed parcels, the State would get land to be incorporated into the forest preserve that would benefit the forest preserve more than the disputed parcels currently do. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?
In Relation to a Land Exchange in the State Forest Preserve with NYCO Minerals, Inc.
The proposed amendment to section 1 of article 14 of the Constitution would authorize the Legislature to convey forest preserve land located in the town of Lewis, Essex County, to NYCO Minerals, a private company that plans on expanding an existing mine that adjoins the forest preserve land. In exchange, NYCO Minerals would give the State at least the same amount of land of at least the same value, with a minimum assessed value of $1 million, to be added to the forest preserve. When NYCO Minerals finishes mining, it would restore the condition of the land and return it to the forest preserve. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?
Increasing Age until which Certain State Judges Can Serve
The proposed amendment to the Constitution, amending sections 2 and 25 of article 6, would increase the maximum age until which certain state judges may serve as follows: (a) a Justice of the Supreme Court would be eligible for five additional two‐year terms after the present retirement age of 70, instead of the three such terms currently authorized; and (b) a Judge of the Court of Appeals who reaches the age of 70 while in office would be permitted to remain in service on the Court for up to 10 years beyond the present retirement age of 70 in order to complete the term to which that Judge was appointed. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?

What to do, what to do? (By the way, here's the text of the NYS Constitution.)

Well, many people may simply say "yes" to "Shall the proposed amendment be approved?" in every instance, probably for no good reason.

Some are saying vote "no" to every question. Why? Because until the SAFE Act is repealed, there should be as little cooperation with NYS government as possible. Send a message.

Believe me, I get that.

The Conservative Party of New York State has a different take—they go halvsies on yesses and noes.  To find out which amendments they support and which they don't and why, read this.

The New York Family Research Foundation also lists reasons for and against each of the propositions.  

The amendment getting the most attention is the first one—perhaps you've heard the radio ads touting the economic benefits of casino "gaming" (have you noticed how the word "gambling" has been replaced by "gaming"?—as if blowing your retirement nest egg at Turning Stone were on a par with playing Super Mario Bros. whilst sitting on your couch) or seen the impassioned editorials and letters to the editor for and against.

The Republican county executive in Chemung County and the Republican chairman of the Tioga County legislature have come out in support of casino gambling Prop 1. Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney (R-101st Dist.) is opposed to it.  Republican Michael Vasquez, who is mulling primarying Congressman Richard Hanna (R-NY22) in 2014, recently wrote

...casinos are a great gimmick to distract from the invasion on freedoms and privacy (like the NY Safe Act) but it fails to address the real problems in New York State’s economy – politicians, taxes, and a lack of vision or will to do anything substantive. 

An e-mail making the rounds makes this interesting case:

If your answer is NO to 50% of the questions below, YOU should VOTE NO TO ALL 6 RESOLUTIONS:
Is the way they will appear on the ballot a balanced view?
Do you completely understand the language in the 6 resolutions?
Do you 100% agree with any of the 6 resolutions?
Do you know what it means to change the NYS Constitution by ballot resolution?
Do you know the contents of the 6 ballot propositions?
Have you been schooled on all that is in the 6 propositions?
Do the majority of the voters even know of the 6 resolutions?
In June the legislature voted on 187 bills in 3 days – did they read & understand them before they voted?
Do you know which legislators voted yes to the 6 resolutions?
Did your government make a good effort to educate the voters about the 6 ballot resolutions?
Do you know how the 6 resolutions got on the ballot?
If your answer is NO to most questions – the smart thing to do is vote NO to all 6 resolutions....
It's true that none of these resolutions is so urgent...after all, the state's been in the economic doldrums for ages now—and is the law of unintended consequences likely to be suspended for casinos?—the land title issues in the Adirondacks have been around for a century, and so on.
Think about it before you vote.
h/t Ralph

Unbecoming conduct... Tompkins County, NY. Are you tired of this yet?

     On October 19, the Dryden Town Board admitted that a fraudulent document was submitted to the Town Clerk in July 2013.  The document, created by the Town planner, was approved and co-signed by Town Supervisor Mary Ann Sumner (D-Dryden).  It was discovered because the Town Clerk’s office spotted its unusual character; there was no Board vote approving it and it was pre-dated 2012.  The Town Planner’s employment was ended, the Board voting in public session, 4-1 (Supervisor Sumner alone voting no, against termination).  No action was taken regarding Supervisor Sumner’s own involvement in the fraud.  At an October 17 public meeting, questioned about this, Sumner dismissed her role as minor.  She never explained why she signed a pre-dated document that did not show Board approval.  Sumner refuses to take responsibility for the fraudulent document she approved and co-signed and now seeks another term.
     During 2011, the Town Board of Newfield, discovered that Newfield’s employee withholding taxes had not been paid for months; $30,000 was missing; workers’ compensation premiums were double paid, costing Newfield about $12,000; and Supervisor Richard Driscoll (D-Newfield) by his own admission received unemployment benefits, while drawing a Town salary (legally disqualifying).  The Board requested a New York State audit with both Democrat board members voting against seeking the audit.  Driscoll took no responsibility, claiming that the problems were due to bookkeeping.  The $30,000 was never found.  For Driscoll’s failure to timely pay IRS and NY employees’ withholding taxes, the Town was subjected to $14,867 in interest and penalties.  Driscoll also used Town credit cards for personal bills, repaying the Town only when caught.  Yet, the Democrats re-nominated Driscoll for another term.
      In 2012, Tompkins County Legislator Martha Robertson (D-Dryden) was not elected to the position of Legislative Chair until January 17.  But, Robertson accepted Chairperson’s pay from January 1 to January 17, a period when another legislator performed Chairperson duties.  Only when confronted did Robertson consider repayment.  Even if repaid, this would not excuse taking pay not earned.  In 2012, Robertson redirected $17,000 taxpayer dollars to paint the shoulders of Ellis Hollow Road green to calm traffic (ineffectively) in front of her own home.  In 2013, Robertson, without evidence, falsely accused Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning) of having Republican operatives hack her website, to induce campaign contributions, raising a federal wire fraud issue.  Robertson, running for another four year legislative term in 2013, has already begun campaigning for Reed’s seat in Congress in 2014.
      Do these problems go beyond these Democrat office holders? Are these incidents a pattern of incompetence, untrustworthiness, and disdain for the voters by Democrat officeholders throughout Tompkins County?  In the November 5 election, voters should turn out of office people who have been shown untrustworthy, incompetent and who refuse to take responsibility for their own actions.  As President Harry Truman (D) said, “the buck stops here”.  It is time to end whitewashes and cover ups and to elect competent people who will honor the people with honesty in office, providing open and transparent government.
                                        James Drader
                                        Chairman, Tompkins County Republican Committee

I feel like Charlie Brown--yet again

At the rate things keep changing, this post may be obsolete before we've even finished writing it, but here goes anyway...

One more time:

Yup, Congress and all their enablers think we're the stupidest people alive.  And that, sometimes, quaint traditions—like the Constitution—should just fade away.

Keep in mind that many grassroots Republicans have been opposed to Obamacare ever since it was a mere gleam in the progressives' eyes. And now a sizable portion of the "stupid" people in the Democrat party isn't too thrilled with it, either:

...moderate and conservative Democrats have fled on health care. In 2010, as Obamacare careened through a Democratic Congress, 76 percent of center-right Democrats cheered, while 20 percent hissed. By last July 23, only 47 percent of those Democrats endorsed Obamacare; 46 percent disapproved. So, among middle-of-the-road Democrats (57 percent of those surveyed), net support for Obamacare is just 1 percent, the Washington Post and ABC News report...

Yet, despite having what is often laughably described as a representative form of government, here is what the stalwarts in the House GOP came up with to lob over the transom to the Senate after the noble senators, including many so-called Republicans (remember, though, that Caligula had his horse made a senator—there's a message there), stripped the defunding language from the House bill and kicked it back to them:

...Early this morning, the House voted to amend the Senate bill (H. J. Res. 59) with three changes:

1)      It changed the duration of the CR from November 15 to December 15, offering an extra month of government funding.

2)      It repeals the 2.3 per cent medical device tax [Paulsen amendment].

3)      It delays implementation of Obamacare and the rest of the tax increases for one year without defunding the law [Blackburn amendment].  However, it does not delay everything.  All the mandates – guaranteed issue and the slacker mandate – will be left untouched.  These mandates are most responsible for the inexorable rise in insurance premiums.  They also create the most dependency.  There is no way we will ever repeal them if we let them slide now.

Got that?  Who exactly are our "representatives" representing, anyway?

By the way, the unfunded "slacker mandate" is the federally imposed coverage of "children" up to age 26 on their parents' health insurance policies, and "guaranteed issue" is federally mandated coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions—which leads to an adverse-selection death spiral (in simplest terms, that's when nobody bothers to buy insurance, except for the very ill, because it's too expensive).

Read the whole thing.  The post is entitled "Beware The Medical Device Tax Fig Leaf," which seems rather apt since fig leaves are designed to hide members whose function is to screw us.

Ted Cruz spoke long and eloquently about all the myriad reasons why Obamacare is a disaster for individuals, families, and businesses.  But the underlying reason why this beast needs to be slain now, not a month, or a few weeks, or a year from now is that many of the provisions of Obamacare—which aren't even all being delayed under the latest iteration of the House CR—constitute a "morphine drip": 

So what's going to happen if when the Senate turns down the latest House offering? According to Rep. McCarthy,

House GOP whip Kevin McCarthy said the House will send a third government-funding bill with “a few other options” if the Democratic-controlled Senate rejects the bill passed in the House last night, as expected.
“We will pass a bill . . . that will keep the government open, that will reflect the House, that I believe the Senate can accept, that will have fundamental changes to Obamacare that can protect the economy for America,” McCarthy said on Fox News Sunday.
The remarks confirm National Review Online’s reporting yesterday that House leadership is considering an eleventh-hour play like passing a “clean” continuing resolution (CR) with language added to end a subsidy for congressional staffers to purchase health insurance...
They're gonna cave, people.  We knew this all along.
We have, de facto, a three-party system: the Dems, the elected GOP elites and their associated consultants and bootlickers, and what's left of the GOP grassroots (the ones who haven't abandoned ship yet, anyway).
The wimpy party is the one sporting the fig leaves.

Blind justice?

Not so much.

Today's Gannett newspapers, including the Ithaca Journal and the Elmira Star-Gazette, ran this A(dministration) P(ress) story:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Almost as soon as George Zimmerman was pronounced "not guilty" in a Florida courtroom, the cry went up.
The U.S. government must get "justice for Trayvon," insisted protesters angry about the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin. The call will resound again later this month through events marking the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.
Attorney General Eric Holder, the first black man to lead the nation's law enforcement, says the Justice Department is investigating.
Why would the feds consider stepping into a state murder case?
The federal government has claimed its power of protecting civil rights against violence as far back as the Reconstruction era....
Got it?

Keep in mind that race hustlers Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Oprah Winfrey, and Charlie Rangel turned what actually WAS a local crime story in Florida involving self-defense (NOT "stand your ground") into a race-based "hate crime" that deserved international attention.

Meanwhile, this horrific crime in Tennessee six years ago received NO attention from 1) the aforementioned race baiters, because it didn't fit their their white-on-black hate crime narrative, and 2) the despicable lamestream media, supposedly because it was merely a local crime story.

In fact, the story is just now starting to see the light of day.  But six years ago, the only people covering it were bloggers—you know, those gnarly nerds who don't collect paychecks and have no press credentials and are therefore not actual—sniff—"journalists."

...While the Progressives are hyping the Trayvon Martin case, praying for riots and chaos in the streets to further their communist agenda, Oprah Winfrey, along with Al Sharpton and Barack Obama, is out race hustling...Comparing the murder of Trayvon Martin to Emmett Till is a travesty. But comparing the murders of these two young white kids to Emmett Till is right on the mark [ed. note: see Deneen Borelli on the Till/Martin comparisons].

Let me tell you about Channon Christian and Chris Newsom, Jr. Warning: this is disturbing and will haunt most people as it does me.

Channon Christian was a senior at the University of Tennessee, majoring in Sociology. Chris Newsom, Jr. was a baseball player who worked as a carpenter...

...On January 6th, 2007, they were going to a friend’s birthday party. The next day, when Channon did not show for work, her parents called the police. The two were carjacked by 5 young black people — four men and one woman. Channon was forced to call her parents at around 12:30 AM to tell them she would be late, so these demons could take their time with them.

These evil individuals gagged Chris with a sock, bound his ankles with his own belt and tied his hands behind his back. His face was covered with a bandana and his head was covered with a sweatshirt that was tied around his neck. He was almost beaten to death and violently raped with a foreign object. Channon was forced to watch as Chris was raped — then they cut his genitals off....

...Channon...was taken back to Lamaricus Davidson’s home and dragged to a back room. She was hogtied with strips of bedding and stripped from the waist down. She was brutally raped in every possible way for hours and almost beaten to death. She sustained brutal wounds to her genital areas and to her chest and head. They sliced off one of her breasts. She was then dragged to the kitchen, where they at first choked her into semi-consciousness. They then poured bleach on her to remove their DNA. They poured bleach down her throat while she was still alive...

Oh, there's more. Read the whole thing if you have the stomach for it.
But as far as so-called journalists and media people were concerned, there was nothing to see here—move along.
They—and the race hustlers (up to and including the current president of the United States) whose flying monkeys they are—are disgusting and a disgrace.


Smiley face fascism

Some call it "crony capitalism," some "public-private partnerships." How about we stop futzing around with the English language (something American collectivists have raised to the level of a fine art) and call it what it really is: fascism.

My, that sounds nasty, doesn't it?  That's because it is. It NEVER ends well.

The National Council for Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) has a website with lots of pretty photos on it, and they define a PPP as

a contractual agreement between a public agency (federal, state or local) and a private sector entity. Through this agreement, the skills and assets of each sector (public and private) are shared in delivering a service or facility for the use of the general public. In addition to the sharing of resources, each party shares in the risks and rewards potential in the delivery of the service and/or facility.

Sounds peachy, until you realize that it's

...the government still maintaining the final say over the delivering of the service.  Taxpayers now have the noose of being forced to guarantee an “acceptable rate of return over the term of the partnership” to the contracted company around their neck.

In fact, PPPs are "a way to mask ever-intrusive government."

There are lots of examples of PPPs ranging from the Federal Reserve System to Solyndra to...Common Core, the Jeb Bush and Bill Gates-led race to the bottom destined to further enslave America's children:

Common Core is the conclusion of many years of the expansion of nationwide controls over educational issues...The current Common Core standards are limited to English and Math, but will expand to include all subjects in coming years.
The beginnings of Common Core can be traced to the 2009 Stimulus bill which gave $4.35 billion to the federal Department of Education which then created the “Race to the Top” competition between states. In order to qualify for funding, the states needed to adopt Common Core sight unseen...
Why would states do anything so stupid? Well, this followed on the heels of the 2008 stock market crash when many states found themselves in dire budgetary straits. And you know what they say—never let a crisis go to waste.  Anyway, check out the entire Stop Common Core NY website.
Who stands to gain from Common Core? Microsoft, Apple, News Corp (Rupert Murdoch), Pearson Publishing, ETS (you know, SAT and ACT), companies like Affectiva Inc. that produce biometric sensor wristbands to be used on students (but it's all very benign), data companies such as InBloom, where all NYS student data (including name, address, Social Security number, attendance, test scores, homework completion, career goals, learning disabilities, hobbies, attitudes about school) for all students (including homeschoolers) has already been uploaded—with an eye toward "steering" the students toward certain career paths...what could possibly go wrong?  See the the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) 2013 Legislative Conference Workbook for a list of "partners." 

But in a sense, I digress. While Common Core may seem so huge that it's dificult for us here at Redneck Mansion to wrap our minds around, there are other examples of proposals for PPPs that are smaller in scope, close to home—and being proposed by our own congressman:

U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, is looking to revitalize American manufacturing.
Reed, along with U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy, D-MA, recently introduced to Congress the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2013. The legislation aims to create a network of regional institutes across the country, each focused on a unique technology, material or process relevant to advanced manufacturing. It would include local industry, academia and other stakeholders. The institutes would work to expand research and development, close the gap between R&D and commercialization of products, support small and mid-sized manufacturers and train a top-tier advanced manufacturing workforce...
The network would be funded by a one-time, $600 million investment in the National Institute of Standards and Technology...
"I care about building things here in America and selling it abroad," Reed said. "That will create long-term, good-quality, high-paying jobs. This act is right up the alley of accomplishing that goal. The purpose of the act is to create centers and institutes focused on bringing public-private partnership together...

What's wrong with this?  This:

...There is actually another, more accurate term for public-private partnerships.  It’s called fascism; plain and simple.  Private business may act as an administrator but the state still pulls the reins.  From a political perspective, public-private partnerships are quite ingenious.  Politicians remain in control while convincing voters they believe in the efficiency of a robust private sector.  And when issues arise over the performance of a service, whatever private firm was granted the monopolistic privilege of delivery can be treated like a scapegoat despite having to operate within government established guidelines.  The state escapes criticism as the public ignorantly clamors for more protection from those evil hearted businessmen.  To the ruling establishment, public-private partnerships are “heads I win, tails you lose.”
What the non-exploitive supporters of public-private partnerships tend to forget is that it isn’t just the administration of the service in supposedly private hands that adds to its betterment.  Why the market functions so well is that it is driven by competition from businesses that don’t rely on assistance from the band of thieves who occupy the offices of the state.  Government assistance gives some businesses an upper hand on competitors which can lead to diminishing innovation.  Why compete when Uncle Sam has your back to ensure a decent rate of profit?  Then there are government grants of monopoly which give the chosen company absolutely zero incentive to cut costs.  All of the advantages of private ownership become effectively nullified in public-private partnerships to the detriment of the taxpayer.
In our world of unceasing centralization of power, lawmakers are finding more deceptive ways to mask their lust for dominance.  Public-private partnerships are the embodiment of what Mussolini dubbed “corporatism;” that is the “merger of state and corporate power.”  Under corporatism, the ruling class is able to expand unbeknownst to the Boobus Americanus and its equivalent in other countries.  The Average Joe still has his wallet forcefully stripped of its contents but now the state’s cronies get to partake in the plunder.  Meanwhile the same big businessmen who benefit from government privilege still maintain their praise for free markets while working with politicians to forcefully subdue their competition...
Remember that, despite what lefty loons are always trying to tell us, PPPs fascism is not the product of some vast right-wing conspiracy of (supposedly) Republican congresscritters. Fascism is a collectivist economic theory. It believes that the state is the most important element of the economy, not the individual. That's why fascism is a leftist system—it elevates the good of the collective over the good of the individual.  If the individual, or individual private business, is not doing enough for the good of the collective, the state simply gives those individuals a little nudge.  It starts out with a smiley face, with "merely" public-private plunder of taxpayers. Then the nudge morphs into a shove, and then eventually, wah-lah, you've got full-blown statism.
It never ends well.
There are members of Congress who actually get this: Justin Amash and Tim Huelskamp in the House and Mike Lee and Ted Cruz in the Senate come to mind. Those that don't get it need to be dispatched at the first available opportunity, which for all House members is 2014.
Our congressman doesn't get it. As far as we can tell, he's a tool of the unwitting tool, probably, but a tool nevertheless.
We in this district need a Republican primary in 2014.

Time to matriculate at FU

As Dave Blount at Moonbattery says:

Trying to discuss issues with a moonbat is like barking back at a dog. Joe Dan puts it well:
“We validate their absurd premises by debating their talking points.”
But it’s not as if we can’t learn from libs; after all, their approach has been extremely successful. Here are two lessons from liberals we should never forget:
1. Don’t help the enemy.
2. Stay on the offensive: attack, attack, attack.

Professor Joe Dan Gorman of Frogleg University explains it all for you—buckle up, it's a wild ride:


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